Message from Rayelan Allan:
My husband, Gunther Russbacher wrote the following dedication to the men who accompanied him on the covert mission Operation Clydesdale and who never returned.
This story describes a covert mission, in which Americans died in service of their country. The men named in this story are some of the nameless stars that are on the marble wall at CIA headquarters at Langley , Virginia.
I would like to dedicate this story to all the men, living, wounded and dead, who have risked their lives in defense of American ideas, on missions so secret that they can never be revealed to anyone.
Many of these men... (and women too), are your fathers, your brothers, your husbands, your neighbors. They live double and triple lives. They live on the edge, always ready to spring into action in the need arises. They have no real lives of their own. They live in a constant ?on call? state. When the call comes, they never know if they will come home dead or alive. They never know if they will see their wives and children again.
These men (and women) are the unsung heros of America?s secret wars. When Gunther wrote this, he took the time to add the family side of his life. The way in which he wrote this article allows people to finally get a glimpse of the lives covert operatives lead. With this understanding, I rededicate this article to all the men and women who have led or still lead the life of a covert operative.
The following article was written from his prison cell in Jefferson, Missouri.
BY: GUNTHER KARL RUSSBACHER
THIS IS A STORY OF THE PERVERSION OF MAN, AND HIS INTENT TO IMPOSE HIS WAY UPON AN UNSUSPECTING POPULACE. IT IS A STORY ABOUT A GROUP OF RUTHLESS MEN, WHO HAD CHOSEN TO VIOLATE THE VERY SANCTITY OF HUMAN LIFE AS WE HAVE COME TO KNOW IT.
IT IS ALSO A STORY ABOUT THE MEN, WHO, AGAINST ALL ODDS, POSSESSING EXTREME PERSONAL DEDICATION, WERE WILLING TO SACRIFICE THEIR LIVES IN THE ATTEMPT TO RESCUE A YOUTH FROM SURE AND CERTAIN DEATH, AT THE HANDS OF AN INTERNATIONAL WHITE SLAVERY RING.
THE YOUTH WAS STOLEN AND FORCED TO COMMIT THE MOST VILE AND VULGAR ACTS FOR THE PERVERSE ENJOYMENT OF OTHERS, WHILE CAMERAS RECORDED EACH EXPLICIT SEXUAL ACT FOR ALL POSTERITY. WHEN THEY WERE THROUGH WITH HIM, THEY NOT ONLY TOOK HIS SANITY, BUT EVERYTHING HE HAD EVER CHERISHED AND HELD DEAR. THEY LEFT HIM WITH NOTHING HE COULD TRULY CALL HIS OWN.
THIS YOUTHFUL LAD IS REMEMBERED HERE, ALONG WITH THE MEN WHO GAVE THEIR VERY LIVES, IN ORDER THAT HE, AND THE MANY UNTOLD OTHERS MIGHT CONTINUE TO LIVE.
THIS STORY IS DEDICATED TO THE
MEN I LOST AND LEFT BEHIND. YOU
SHALL FOREVER BE A PART OF ME.
I SALUTE YOU, ONE AND ALL!
MAY GOD GRANT EACH OF YOU
YOUR RIGHTLY DESERVED ETERNAL
IN CARING MEMORY,
GUNTHER K. RUSSBACHER
JEFFERSON CITY, 110
APRIL 19, 1993
By: Gunther Karl Russbacher
It was a cold and wet Thanksgiving Day. The overnight temperatures had dipped to near record levels, as we gathered in the formal dining room to begin the special meal. I didn't think that there would be quite so many of us, as we began the process of finding our seats. As always, I sat at the head of the table, in one of the uncomfortable captains' chairs, all the while hoping that the somber meal would pass without incident from the children.
I glanced in the direction of my eldest son, who at the time was age eight, but like many of the children his age, going on sixteen. He was an innocent, living in a world that didn't necessarily consider children to be innocent.
Quickly, I stole a hurried glance to the man seated to my right. An expression of extreme pain crossed his brow, as he sank his eyes towards his dinner plate. None of the men in the room were able to meet each others eyes. It was a time of grief, abject sadness; a time for the tears we couldn't cry.
The cold anger of the men was evident throughout the strained meal. Everyone was merely going through the motions, picking at the food, which was placed in front of them. Three members of my Special Operations Group were dead. Two others had sustained such severe injuries, which would, in all likelihood, preclude them from further service with the Group. The civilian death toll, attributed to accidental and or stray rounds, for the entire operation stood at four. The actual ordered or condoned sanctions exceeded a verified body count of sixty-seven.
Although the operation was considered a raving success by Rudolph Guilliani, the United States Attorney for the District of New York, we felt betrayed by and through the revocation of the Executive Sanction which had fielded our unit, and given us clear and free hand to terminate, with prejudice, any and all persons associated with the targeted pedophile ring, both at home and abroad.
We were stopped short of that mark by the President of these United States, (Reagan). There was no reason for happiness that day on which all America celebrated as the day of Thanksgiving.
The historians were writing the year 1985. It had been a year of absolute turmoil. It was a year of red hot paramilitary tactics, and international terrorism. We were steeped in far too many operations, and were to the point where rookie hirelings and contract labor became prevalent throughout the entire Agency.
After our guests had made their good byes, leaving to return to their own homes, I retired to my little sanctuary to reflect upon the history of the last few months. Much had happened to my little family. Not only was I absent from the home for months on end, having little or no time for my own children, I was also in the middle of divorce proceedings. All in all, it was not the kind of a year one cares to etch into his memory.
Slowly, my tiredness began to catch up with me. My eyes grew increasingly more heavy, permitting the entire file and record of events of the past months, to flash before me. With heavy heart and moist eyes I gave in to the memories as the macabre occurrences danced before my hooded eyes.
The days were just beginning to get warmer and longer, permitting a little yard work, in hopes of getting our home readied for spring.
The decision was made to have a combined birthday party for our sons, consisting of pizza, ice cream, more pizza, and even more noise, at the local Chucky Cheese Pizza Parlor. My wife, at that time, was massaging her temples in the hope that her headache would abate. Our children, in concert with the many neighbor children, danced around our chairs, whooping it up as if it was the re-enactment of that fatal day at Little Big Horn. At the rate they were going about it, we would soon suffer the same fate as the men of Custer's Cavalry. The brightly colored Indian headdresses and tomahawks were about to reduce two normal and relatively sane adults to babbling idiots.
I excused myself under the pretext of going out to the motor home to look for cigarettes. The cellular phone was ringing as I inserted the key into the door lock. Without giving matters a second thought, I answered the call. It was the Chief of Station of the St. Louis area office. He stated that we had received the go ahead to field an operation designed to flush out and identify pederasts and other pedophiles in the St. Louis, Miami, Phoenix, Seattle, Chicago, and New York areas.
The request for an operation was formulated in such manner as to include the entire country. Our SOG (Special Operations Group) had entered the picture earlier, after an extensive fact finding investigation into the pornographic movie industry. It didn't take all too long to determine that the real problem wasn't the "old fashioned plain brown wrapper" kind of pornography. That, in itself, would not have been of sufficient interest to the Central Intelligence Agency. Our involvement commenced after being contacted by the FBI. They had asked us to bring on line a major sting operation designed to flush out potential buyers and traders of "kiddiporn", as well as sexually explicit porno films wherein a victim is brutalized, savaged and ultimately murdered at the point of orgasm.
The entire ritualistic murder scene is recorded on film and generally distributed throughout the cult circles. Many of the SNUFF films (the term is derived from the act of snuffing out the candle [or spark] of life while the camera continued to roll) find their way to Europe or the far East.
Our Intelligence Organizations had been tracking the disbursal of material for several months. The extent of the distributor network amazed even the most seasoned operatives. We were awaiting operation orders prior to bringing the Covert Operations Division on line.
Hours later I was sitting in our offices, eagerly awaiting the transmission of the operations order from Washington, D.C. Although we had received verbal A-okay for the operation, written details and executive consent was still forthcoming. We whiled away the time, lounging around the office, making small talk, and generally keeping each other occupied.
Photographs of a young lad were lying on top of a dossier. Glancing at the desk I saw that it contained a rather high security code. It was marked in blue, gold and white. The lad appeared to be approximately twelve years of age, and somewhat bleached of color. Little did I know what he had gone through prior to the time of the taking of the photograph. The file stated that he had been used for kiddiporn and that he had recently been sold as a sex slave. We had received intelligence that-the boy had been sold to an East German photographer. The last location given as to his whereabouts placed him somewhere on the East German and Slovak border. He was being moved from location to location, all the while making porno films for his captors. We were to set up the operation for an extraction and to terminate all targets in the field.
The wire began to hum, as the decision to go ahead was coming in from Covert Operations, via a Field Intelligence Order. I turned to Roger, my second in command, and began the process of assembling an operations plan. A quick cup of coffee, made sickeningly sweet by using honey instead of sugar, propelled my sugar levels to dangerous highs. A phone was ringing off the hook in the conference room.
After numerous rings a colleague stated that he had received a call from Portland, Oregon, advising that cousin, Richard was on his way to the airport to catch the first flight to St. Louis.
With good speed the entire hit and extraction team was being assembled. It wouldn't be long until the rest of the old and long true cadre would find its way to the Blues capital of the Midwest. We were now reduced to waiting, preparing the logistics for the long flight to the staging area. The time to write the Operation Plan for Operation Clydesdale was at hand.
The necessary calls went out to Meteorology, Group Operation Support, and foreign, local intelligence support. It was expected that we had specific assets in place which could render initial support upon landing at the insertion site.
Several calls to the Ops Office in Bad Godesberg, Germany, provided much needed intelligence on speed crews who were to accompany our team to the insertion site. I asked for SEALS and or other branches of the Special Operations Forces. Due to the hurried nature of the pending insertion, we dismissed the idea of fielding additional SEALS to weatherproof and render safe the designated arrival area. An "A" Team of the Tenth Special Forces, of Bad Toelz, Germany, was' offered. The offer was quickly discarded as we made contact with our own Delta Force Extraction Unit.
It was a lucky coincidence that they had just returned from a training exercise, landing at our facility at Rhein Main AFB, Frankfurt, Germany. The Chief of Station of Bonn assured me that the Delta Unit would be placed into an isolated and sterile environ, pending our arrival at Rhein Main.
It took another five hours until the entire Team had arrived in St. Louis. Those who could took commercial flights, while the far removed members were provided fast movers (fighter aircraft) to bring them to our location. The time had come to excuse myself and make for the ready room in order to write my part of the operation plan. Glancing around the room I couldn't help but smile at the faces of the men who had shared the taste of wet operations around the globe. The time was at hand to strike a blow against the satanic element which had grown to alarming proportions on all fronts.
Little did we know what we were about to encounter. No one had an inkling of how high and deep these operators had infiltrated the very government we served. The operation was a firm GO, by any standard, but as said, we had no idea of what we were about to encounter. I can state, unequivocally, that we were about to be plunged into the darkest recesses of hell!
The teleprinter apprized us of the fact that the targets had considerable influence in East Germany as well as Czechoslovakia. They also knew that we had placed strong inquiries onto the international wires, in order to secure their location and relative strength. The idea that a reception committee could and would be waiting for us was taken into consideration.
Local assets in East Germany, Austria, and Czechoslovakia were contacted and placed on high alert status. Soon a purge would be launched against the international pedophile community. Our intent was not merely to arrest these God awful perpetrators, or to smuggle them to a safe pick-up point for our Federal Authorities. We were given the Green Light to commit to "Field Resolutions", terminating the targets with extreme prejudice.
The operation had been sanctioned from "ON High", therefore leaving little doubt about the final outcome. Our intent was to enlarge upon the Operation Orders, the listed sanctions, bringing down their murderous friends who had chosen to terminate innocent children, for the sake of pornographic snuff films, while others were hiding behind the rolling cameras.
I asked cousin Richard, as well as Roger Rabbit to assist me in the writing of the general operations plan. Quickly the steel vault door of the small chamber closed and sealed behind us as we entered the secure room. We were in the inner sanctum of the St. Louis office of the Central Intelligence Agency. Everything we needed had already been laid out. With gusto, but stern intent, we launched ourselves into the birth of "OPERATION CLYDESDALE."
PROJECT CLASSIFICATION: TOP SECRET; SOG-SI/6 Copy No. 1 OF 3 COPIES SOG/ALPHA/DELTA/-DETACHMENT TS-Q/SOG-D/F; 201 (insert complete routing and code classification Nos.)
CD279853 STAGING AREA: RHEIN MAIN AFB, FRANKFURT, GERMANY DATE OF OPERATION: 08 MAR. 85 DOS/DIA/CIA 850308:0001Z OPERATION ORDER 2-687/4 REFERENCE: EUROPEAN QMVB: MAP SERIES K-424, CZECK; L-415, GER;
M-216, AUS. SCALE: 1:50,000
A. Hostile Forces: Heavy hostile traffic and activity along the Czechosolavak borders with Austria and West Germany. Realtime reconnaissance Sat/Intel designates and reveals medium to heavy border, and other ground forces. Sat/Intel designates such forces as Soviet and Czech forces, which have been detached from main units to reinforce standard border patrols in the anticipated DZ areas.
B. Hostile Forces: Latest Sat/Intel discloses the ground build-up is comprised of STB and KGB elements. Assessment of update: EXTREME CAUTION REQUIRED.
Meteorology and Forecast: High pressure system dominating target and DZ area. Intermediate cloud cover at 14,000 ft., otherwise, clear skies. Moist, cold air. Anticipated and projected temperature range: 40OF to 280F.
Half Moon: 47% illumination
Sunrise: 0714 hrs. Sunset: 1618 hrs.
(1) Terrain: The terrain is comprised of low rolling hills. In the higher elevations the terrain is open with majestic evergreen forest areas. The lower ground is mostly open cultivated land.
Night movement will be relatively easy.
(2) Identification: The Hostile Forces are comprised target members as well as Czech and Soviet troops. Probable STB and KGB elements have been identified.
(3) Location: See map overlay - Enclosures # 1-4.
(4) Activity: Combined target and hostile forces are currently
reinforcing the border guard units, as well as setting up security check points around the target property, and road blocks on the main routes leading to the target property. Additional roadblocks on main routes leading to the border areas have been noted by friendly border overflights.
(5) Strength: Indeterminate, however all indications indicate/suggest ground forces are currently held at least double normal strength.
C. Friendly Forces in Target Area: None.
(1) Airborne or Ground Fire Support Available: None.
A. D/F; 01 Detachment: Will conduct infiltration exercise to secure perimeter and contact local agent/asset on DZ, provide logistics as well as possible ground fire support for SOG, and esc-ape and evade to extraction site. (See map overlay-enclosures # 1-4)
B. AGENCY/DIA Component: Will access local asset, determine feasibility of extraction; acquire and define all existing targets; remove the minor child, while terminating all of the targets found on secured premises. Escape and evade to extraction site. (See map overlay-Enclosures # 1-4)
A. Concept of Operation: DIA/CIA/ODA-204 (Half Team) will conduct the operation in two (2) phases.
Phase I: Airborne Operation - Night HAHO infiltration to DZ to link
with local agent/asset and minor child.
Phase II: Escape and evade, after termination of all targets, with minor child to extraction site.
B. Coordinating Instructions:
(1) Time of departure and return:
Depart: 08 Mar. 85-2100 hours
Return: 09 Mar. 85-0600 hours
(However, mission has final priority)
(2) Infiltration Route; Escape Route; Evasion Route, as well as
Coordinates of DZ and Extraction Site: See Enclosures numbered
(3) Rally Point: See Enclosures 1-4. The Detachment Leader/
Commander will designate the Rally Point-to be used only if the
unit becomes separated or disorganized.
(4) Actions on Hostile Contacts: As per Detachment Field Standard
Operational Procedure, TERMINATE WITH PREJUDICE.
(5) Actions at Danger Areas: As per Detachment Field SOP.
(6) Actions at the Objective: Take control of the minor and escape and evade while remainder of Team is sanitizing the entire target area.
(7) Prisoners: NONE shall be taken.
(8) EEI (Essential Elements of Information): None
(9) OIR (Other Intelligence Requirements): None
4. AGENCY AND SERVICE SUPPORT
(1) Rations: One (1) days' rations will be provided and carried into the insertion zone.
(2) Arms and Ammunition: As per Special Requirements -see
Enclosure # 5
(3) Clothing and Night Equipment: As per Special Requirements -see
Enclosure # 5
(4) Method of Handling Wounded: Walking wounded will accompany Detachment. Critically wounded will be cached until the mission is completed. At which time recovery attempts will be made to bring out and/or extract such wounded personnel.
(5) Method of Handling Dead: Bury (shallow), mark grave site, record grid coordinates, and report at debriefing upon completion of mission.
5. COMMAND AND SIGNAL
(1) Signals to be used by Detachment will be hand and true electronic signals.
1. Detachment Code Names:
XXXXXXX-Lancer/09 XXXXXXX-Dancer/10 (The names that have not been X'd out are or men who are "dead" or whose covers have been broken to such a degree that they have become public figures. Walker-Raven/01 is Gunther Russbacher.)
2. Code Words:
St. Louis Blues - Have taken control of subject child and proceeding with escape and evasion.
Riverboat Gambler Have reached extraction site.
Ticket Taker Mission has been compromised. This signal is to be followed by Situation
Delta Queen Targets acquired and terminated.
3. Challenge and Password at Rally Point: Old man River.
(Any combination of words will do.)
Chain of Command: Walker-Benson-Brenneke-Pauley-XXXXXX-
ADDITIONAL ENCLOSURES: Map overlays of radar gaps and checkpoints along airborne infiltration route to target area. Required time and altitude at each checkpoint. Photograph of subject (minor). Code Name for local agent at DZ. Communication frequencies.
DEBRIEFING: Detachment will be debriefed upon completion of mission by CIA Deputy Chief of Station-Bad Godesberg at isolation area.
Approximately six and one half miles from Bonn, West Germany, at the end of a remote, tightly secured airstrip, which happened to not appear on any aeronautical charts, the turboprop engines of a Lockheed C-130 shook and roared to max power as it began its takeoff roll and lumbered down the long runway. Steadily gaining speed, the throttles firewalled, the transport rattled and creaked, threatening to come apart at the seams, as it rotated, lifting its broad frame into the cold night air, while climbing slowly away from the retreating lights of the CIA isolation base and mission staging area.
We were banking into a slow turn, while gaining altitude, the C-130 heading due east before following a southerly course over the mountainous region of the beautiful Bavarian forest which formed the West German frontier with Czechoslovakia. The course had been most precisely planned to track a narrow corridor, above and parallel to the commercial airline routes of the area; the takeoff time of 2030 hours coinciding with a period of heavy commercial air traffic.
If all went according to our plans our effort to divert attention from the Czech radar operators away from the flight path of the C-130 would soon be augmented by elements of the United States Air Force, based out of Rhein Main AFB. The DCI, through proper channels, had requested two formations of fighter aircraft to fly border cover for us. The fighters were scheduled to arrive in the border area at the same time as the C-130.
Their mission, the true purpose unknown to the pilots, was to conduct high speed night maneuvers a few miles north of the release point where my Team would exit the transport via HAHO parachute jump.
All was going according to the preset plan. We were nearing the point of no return; a point where the mission would be committed to go. I left the cockpit and made my way to the aft section of the plane. Jockeying for position, I saw the faces of the men with whom I would be sharing nods and last instructions. We were set to go.
A firm resolve was visible on all the faces .... the team was ready for whatever might come. I found my seat of nylon webbing, located on the starboard side of the aircraft, while the vibrations of the deck plates traveled up through my entire body. The sound of the engines was somewhat muffled by my helmet, while I listened to the rhythm of my own breathing through the demand regulator attached to my oxygen mask.
My thoughts were concentrated on the mission. The details of the OPS Order were burned into my memory, along with the countless other details I would have to call into play, before the long night ahead was to be over. At the staging area, and along the flight to Germany, there had been no false bravado or tough talk about the mission, just a silent confidence and professional ease.
Most of the men had served one or more combat tours in Viet Nam, or taken part in some strategic-OPS, planned and orchestrated by our masters in Langley. To a man, we were seasoned veterans, ready to do a job.
My eyes settled on BXXXX XXXXX, the CIA paramilitary specialist seated on the opposite side of the aircraft. XXXXX had been chosen by the Agency to act as oxygen safety man and jumpmaster for the HAHO (High Altitude High Opening) insertion. Needless to say I had questioned him at length at the isolation base, and was more than satisfied that XXXXX was far more than merely qualified to handle the tasks assigned to him. The man had made more than two thousand jumps, and had been through special jump schools during his lengthy tour of service with the Army.
We were rapidly approaching the drop zone, as we continued to monitor each other, making sure that our systems were being saturated with oxygen, making all the while sure that we weren't hyperventilating. Such irregular breathing, caused by stress or symptoms of hypoxia. We had been prebreathing pure oxygen for thirty minutes prior to take off from the staging area, and would continue to take in such oxygen for the duration of the thirty minute flight to the release point, saturating our systems for the jump.
Our safety margin was slim as continued to climb to thirty-three thousand feet. At that altitude, hypoxic effects could occur within 45 seconds. We removed the arming pins to permit our main chutes to open at the twenty-five hundred feet level, in the event that any member of the team became dysfunctional or physically incapable of deploying the chute after exiting the aircraft.
The aircraft had reached thirty-three thousand feet and was now fully depressurized to the outside air pressure in preparation for the opening of the tailgate ramp. Despite the inefficiency of the heater in the cargo bay, the team was well insulated from the ice cold air. Upon arrival at the isolation base, we had turned in all clothing and personal effects, including all items of identification.
We were issued forged Czech identification papers, the equivalent of seventy-five dollars in Czech crowns, and the sterile and untraceable clothing and equipment stored at the site for our mission. We wore East German boots, socks, underwear, and thermal longjohns. These were worn beneath Czech made civilian slacks, shirts and parkas. A one piece, insulated jumpsuit, light gray color, and gloves worn as the outer laver, would provide the additional protection which we would need against the fifty-degree-below-zero temperature and sixty mile an hour winds which we would experience while exiting the aircraft at thirty-three thousand feet.
The helmets, goggles, and oxygen masks, completely covered our faces and heads. There was no skin exposed for frostbite by and through the high-altitude temperatures and the wind-chill factor as we descended under canopy. Our teams primary weapons consisted of German made H&K (Heckler & Koch) sound suppressed nine-millimeter submachine guns. We carried them secured to our sides on the outside of the jumpsuits. In such position they provided for ready access in the event of trouble at the landing site.
The wet team members also carried Walther twenty-two caliber sound suppressed automatic pistols. They were carried in shoulder holsters, beneath the parkas. Extra magazines of ammunition were stored in the bellows pockets of the parkas, along with the freeze dried rations, and two mini-grenades, which were to be used in the event of ambush or to break contact with a superior force.
In addition to these items I carried a small satellite relay radio, attached to the small of my back. All of the equipment used to bring us to the drop zone would be discarded and left before leaving, dressed as civilians.
The tension and adrenaline flow increased as we saw XXXXX give the six minute warning. I pulled down my goggles and responded to another oxygen check, as the red lights went on over the tailgate. The huge cargo bay resonated with the high pitched whine of hydraulic motors as the tailgate was lowered to its horizontal position, forming a ramp on which we were to stand.
Frigid air filled the entire aft section of the aircraft, as a gaping black hole opened to the night sky. Four minutes later, our sense heightened, our eyes clear and alert, we received our two minute warning. It brought the start of the jump commands.
In response to the first command (XXXXX raising an outstretched and an open hand upward), we got to our feet, conducted an equipment check, and prepared to disconnect from the oxygen console. At the one minute warning, we activated our individual oxygen systems, known as the "bail out bottles", which would sustain us through our descent to ten thousand feet, where we could safely breathe the available air. The steel bail out bottles, stored in the compartment on the side of the parachute pack tray, were actually two small high-pressure canisters, specifically designed for high altitude jumps to provide a demand regulated thirty minute supply of pure oxygen, with most of the moisture removed to prevent the oxygen-mask valves from icing. We disconnected from the main and on board system, checking each other to make sure that our units functioned properly. We remained standing, ready to exit the aircraft.
The command came .... we moved slowly, and in unison to the rear of the aircraft. We were huddled and standing together three feet from the end of the ramp. The main reason for standing so close was to assure us a fast out, and limited lateral dispersion.
All systems were go as we switched on our secure inter team radios. The headsets were built directly into the helmets with a voice activated microphone at our throats. Through this equipment we would be able to communicate with each other from a distance of up to three miles during our descent. I gave my thumbs up signal to indicate that I was ready. The rest of the team followed suit.
XXXXX raised his arm which was bent at the elbow. A single finger pointed upward. All eyes were on the jumpmaster as the green light came on. His extended finger jabbed vigorously toward the exit. It was time to go. I was the first man in the line and moved the last three feet to infinity. Without thinking, I stepped away from the metal of the aircraft. The operation had begun.
All in all the descent went rather smoothly. we remained close together, all the while calling to each other and monitoring our descent. The chutes were more like paragliders, and therefore steerable to any compass point. The HAHO (High Altitude High Opening) exercise had gone well. Soon we were gathering the shrouds around us, monitoring the location of each team member.
The local agent, using night vision goggles had spotted us. We were met, and began the process of evaluating the raw data and information, which would bring us to the target property. Considering the nature of nighttime operations all had gone quite well. We launched ourselves toward the objective. It was cold and dark during the late winter night, but the mere thought of the young lad, less than five miles away, spurred us on. We wanted to be there within a short period of time, and coordinate the rescue of our subject-child.
No voices were heard as we began the trek to the property. Our Deltas had performed in their usual and professional manner. They established point and rear guard, permitting us the leisure of walking in a sweeping formation. All in all we were making excellent time.
Within thirty minutes, I signaled for a stop. That permitted the men to eat a candy bar, or use the outdoor facilities. We were ahead of schedule. There was no need to push ourselves, knowing that within the hour, after all intelligence had been processed, the shooting match would begin.
The weapons were held at the ready, in case unexpected company were to drop by. With comfortable thoughts, I placed my hands over the shoulder holster, feeling the cool smooth touch of the Walther. This was, and still is, the weapon of choice for the professional in the field.
The signal was given to resume the trek. Absolute silence would now be called for as we were entering the outer perimeter of the target zone. The slightest sound could conceivably jeopardize the success of our mission. There was truly very little room for error. Mistakes in our line of work tended to be paid for with the blood of our own.
We had come to a small stand of trees, trying to remain within the cover of the additional darkness provided by the evergreens. The road ran parallel to the trees and was therefore an immediate landmark for our journey. A sudden flash of brilliant light flooded the stand of trees, turning the night into glaring day. All of us froze in midstep for a brief second before reacting instinctively, and dropping flat unto the ground which was covered with ankle deep grass. We unslung our weapons as we fell.
I had already returned to the edge of the treeline, crawling on my stomach into the sparse underbrush. The other men, caught in the open, began crawling towards me in an attempt to reach the woods and the little cover they provided. The glare of the floodlights concealed their source at the far end of the clearing, about forty-five yards away.
A voice came out of the darkness, amplified by a bullhorn, shattered the accustomed silence. It left no doubt in my mind that we had dropped into a well organized ambush situation.
Although the harsh words were muffled by my headgear - we re nonetheless clearly heard. "Lay down your weapons and walk to the center of the field with your hands raised above your heads," the high pitched, heavily accented voice ordered. "There is no possibility of escape. Do as you are instructed or you shall all be killed."
The fact that the voice had spoken in English was not lost on me. It made the situation explicitly clear. They were expecting Americans. Cursing under my freezing breath, I scanned the opposite end of the field. Squinting into the lights I readily determined that they had been arranged in a half circle, just inside the other side of the woods. It didn't take a great deal of deduction to determine that the troops and security forces were lying deployed, in the same manner, providing them fields of fire, all the while permitting them coverage of the entire clearing. It was doubtful that they would be foolish and endanger their own men.
The team was now within ten yards of my position, at the edge of the woods. The curses I heard through my headset reminded me that all the interteam radios were still on. Under my breath I told them to keep moving straight ahead. I was directly in front of them, and was therefore able to provide a little support in the event that shooting erupted from the hostile force. The silence was broken again. This time by a single short burst from an automatic weapon.
One of the Czech soldiers on the left flank of the half circle formation had broken fire discipline. The others, assuming the burst had been a signal to open fire, joined the melee. Within a matter of two or three seconds, the night air was filled with the sharp, staccato sounds of automatic weapons, as a chain reaction from the hostile forces sent a flurry of rounds across the clearing. The rounds sent a cracking through the underbrush causing spouts like small fountains of soil and other debris from the ground around the team. I heard two distinct cries of pain. The sounds and voices made the situation clear. One of my men was hit in the leg, while the other took a series of rounds in the upper chest region.
I scrambled quickly to my left, crashing through the woods to attain a position where I could return fire without hitting my own men. The thought struck me why the local asset had not been more accurate in assuming control of the drop zone and the line of march to the Target Zone. However, there was little time to really consider the whys or the hows. It was imperative to secure the team and prepare them for a front guard delaying action. The team had to be split up if we were going to be able to move against the target proper and extract the subject child.
Through the interteam radio I instructed the men as to what was expected of them. To a man everyone cooperated and followed the prescribed path. The Delta Group began to open fire on the ground forces, pinning them with accurate small arms fire, while others began to lob the mini grenades into the ranks of the hostile forces. One of the Deltas, a sharpshooter of great reknown, began the process of shooting out the floodlights. Soon we were bathed in pitch darkness.
It would take several minutes for the opposing team to regain their night vision, and I hoped above all hope that during this brief period of time, I would be able to gather the kill force and proceed to the target, less than one-half mile away.
The diversions worked well, opening a corridor for forward movement to the target. Crouched and perspiring from the excess adrenalin pumped into our systems, we forged ahead. Within a few minutes, we were at the target site. A few hand signals, coupled with short radio transmissions, we prepared for the assault.
Through my night vision glasses I was able to determine the strength of the outer defenses. It was a job which could be done with nominal loss of life. Quickly I positioned the team for the assault.
I placed the satellite-relay radio into XXXXXXX's hands, motioning him to remain behind and to secure our retreat after finishing the assigned tasks. The entire team opened up on the target. The noise and the smell of automatic weapons' fire filled the cold night air. We crossed the little makeshift forest clearing and crouched at the walls of the target.
On the count of three, we broke open the main entry door and flooded the interior, with guns blazing. There were men and women everywhere. However, the subject had not yet been seen by any of us. Rounds of automatic weapons fire rained indiscriminately at the occupants of the building. Chests and heads exploded as the rounds impacted with soft tissue. Spraying fountains of red glistened in the soft light of the rooms. No one was spared by the angry buzz of our weapons. Death had taken command of the, room.
With speed we forged ahead into the other parts of the building. Room by room the search for the subject child continued. We had come a long way to retrieve the subject and were not at all prepared to vacate the premises of death without the child. No amount of noise or pandemonium would be able to stop us from completion of the mission.
Doors popped open, displaying the occupants. There were no questions asked, or lengthy discussions held. Each room was sprayed with steel until all movement had ceased. After all, the operation orders clearly specified that we were not required to take any prisoners.
We arrived on the landing of the second floor. Several occupants of the house had decided to return fire and attempt to save their lives. None of the return fire could have been termed as effective resistance. None of the men or women had the slightest chance. Sure, there was the odd round which came close to hitting one or more of my men. However, as indicated, the resistance was slight and shallow. Soon we would be involved in the mop up segment of the operation.
I arrived at what appeared to have been a corner salon. Kicking the door off the hinges I gained entry. A quick sweep of the room indicated that our subject child was present. He was flanked by what appeared to have been two men, wearing hoods and bright scarlet clothing. The taller of the two had an open front pair of pants. His genitals were exposed as he bent over the child.
Closer examination of the situation disclosed that the man had a stiletto like knife in his hands. He made the motion of drawing it toward the subject. At that very moment Pauley came flying through the door. Without considering the field of fire, he sanctioned the man with the knife. With a shriek of pain the man doubled over and collapsed on to the floor. He had taken four rounds to the chest. Surely, he was dead before his bullet riddled body hit the floor.
I came to the lad, covered. him with a bedspread from the massive king size bed, and began to softly whisper into his ear. Over and over again I told him that we were friends, and that we were there to bring him back home. There wasn't even the slightest spark of recognition or emotion in his cold and seemingly chiseled face. He appeared traumatized and therefore incapable of any response.
The bedspread fell from the child's shoulder, exposing his left side. I was not prepared for the scene. The child had been tortured and brutally marked with branding irons. Multiple tiny red scars, delineating pentagrams were etched into his bruised and torn skin. The boy was in immediate need of extensive medical attention.
By this time, the gunfire had become sporadic, down below. We were ready to finish the mission and extract ourselves from further involvement. I rallied the team and issued the necessary field orders to terminate all targets.
The members of the team began the process of venting the sinus cavities of the remaining survivors. No one was spared. The body count was made and preparations to destroy the building were under way. Mini-grenades, coupled with cooking oil was deemed appropriate for the task. The pungent odors of blood, urine and feces, became so overpowering that I gagged, as I was bringing the boy outside.
Bell was waiting to make the necessary, in person identification. As soon as he would give the A-Okay, we would proceed to the pre-arranged extraction site.
Arriving at the rally point, I began the head count. We had suffered losses. Fuller-Mama/05 had received a clean head shot from a small caliber weapon.
Peters, the Bear lay in a puddle of blood. He had taken the full load of a twelve-gauge shotgun in the chest. There was no spark of life in his terrified and open eyes.
Spam-Catnip, appeared to have been hit so often that none of his features were recognizable by any team member.
Larson had received a round in the face. Although his wounds were not critical, he would never be the same again.
XXXXXXX, in heat of the fire fight, stumbled after arming a mini-grenade. It had blown off his entire right hand. He would survive if we could get him out in time to tie off his bleeding veins and arteries.
I cringed as I looked at the mayhem about me. With haste we returned to the perimeter where the Delta Group fought a losing battle against the hostile ground forces. Simple radio commands advised them to fall back and cover our retreat to the pre-arranged extraction site.
I asked for a head count and was advised that five of the Delta Group had been lost to hostile fire. during our raid against the target property. With sad hearts, we began the labor of burying our dead, marking clearly the spot of such burials. The walking wounded were not cached but rather came with us to the border area, where we were scheduled to interdict a flight of Hueys. These birds would bring us to safety and back to our side of the border.
We force marched the contingent to the border, waiting only ever so briefly for the Delta Team to fall in behind us. In the distance, gun fire was still to be heard. It didn't have or carry the urgency it had at the target premises. Hostile helicopters and armored vehicles could be heard in the distance. We had to move fast in order to extract ourselves from what was rapidly developing into a nasty international incident. The satellite relay radio unit was continuing to burp messages to our forces. The Hueys were At the pick-up point. All we had to do was reach the border area.
There was no time for discussions or small talk. The operation had been salvaged, at great cost, while many of our men had suffered the pain of hostile fire. I knew deep down in my heart that we had been sabotaged and betrayed by one or more of our own men. After all, the opposition had been ready and waiting for us upon arrival in the little forest. There was no time to reflect upon the reason for such betrayal. our every sense was geared in the direction of making it to the safe place; the helicopter pick-up point.
The Delta Team was doing a great job of keeping the main force of f our backs. The overhead whirring of choppers began to fill the air. We looked for flight lights, but found none. With fast beating hearts we scrambled for the four large creatures which hung from the heavens. We were spotted. A green light was shown from the side or belly of one of the birds. A quick reply over the radio indicated to the air crews that contact was secured, and that we were ready for extraction.
Within a matter of three minutes we were airborne, winging our way over the border. We were safe, leaving the Delta Team to extract themselves from a highly volatile situation. They were true professionals and knew what to do to -escape and evade capture.
For all intents and purposes, our mission had been accomplished. The subject child had been found, secured and transported to freedom. All that remained was the task of telling the families of our team-mates that they had died in a formal training exercise. No one would ever know what really transpired to take the lives of their loved ones. Another team, composed of a sterilization crew and a sanitization crew, would soon be fielded to retrieve the bodies of the fallen comrades.
Once again, the true heroes of the operation gave their lives so that others might live. For us, the men in the field, it was another repeat of the operations of the recent past. I am of course referring to the numerous sabotaged and betrayed operations, which had cost so many lives, in the jungles of Southeast Asia, to the bloody shores of Beirut, Lebanon. For years I have led men into acute danger situations, and have grudgingly accepted the death tolls which tend to permeate and erupt as a result of and from such surgical strikes. The faces of my dead colleagues live within my soul. They are my constant companions and shall accompany me, forever.
During the flight back to where our C-130 was to rendezvous with our party I tried, numerous times, to evoke a response from the lad. I was not able to reach him. It soon became obvious that the lad was lost and that he had retreated to the corners of his mind. No amount of soothing words or coaxing could bring forth the slightest response. My heart bled as I watched the stone like face of the young sitting across from me. The C-130 was waiting for us at the pick-up point. They had brought a combat surgical team with them on the flight down. Lord only knows that we needed them ever so desperately. As soon as the most pressing wounds had been tended to, the lad began to occupy the time of the doctors and nurses. At first it was considered to give the child a sedative. However, that idea was quickly discarded as the medical team went through their first stage evaluation. The child was as if dead to any attempt to reach him. The assessment of the team was that he would never regain his mental faculties. His face had been frozen in a mask of sheer terror, with his hands appearing like claws instead of human appendages. It was all we could do not to shed rivers of tears.
Viewed from the point of having recovered the child, the mission was a complete success. The pained faces of the wounded was forever to be marked in my mind, as the C-130 crossed the outer marker, inbound, in final preparation for landing. Our debriefing was lengthy and dry. No one accepted responsibility for the soured operation. The wounded were brought to 97th General Hospital, while the youth was secreted away, shortly after our arrival in Bonn. To this date no word has reached me as to the fate or future of the youth. I can only assume that he had become a permanent victim of the child-porno-war.
The sun had begun to peek through the clouds as I boarded the Lufthansa flight from Cologne, Germany to JFK airport. Soon, I would be reporting back to the man who authorized the operation. We talked a few minutes over a secured line from the American Embassy, earlier that morning, and decided that the soured operation was not to be put to bed. We were to go after additional targets, identified as being both on American soil, as well as on the European continent. It was far from over. A new list had been drafted. Operation Clydesdale would receive the required additional funding. We were at war with the perverted pedophile community, both at home and abroad.
Our task was to eradicate the scum, forever.
I remembered looking at the men during the debriefing sessions, wondering what the final outcome would be. There was little doubt that the lad would never be able to find a place in the society which had ignored him during the years of turmoil, shame and extreme pain. For him, time no longer moved in any rational manner. He would become a ward of the federal government.